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MariaL

Constant Strange Sound

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I have one hen and since 2 days ago she's been making an incessant sound non-stop. It's hard to describe as its not any of your usual budgie sounds.

Its like a quiet squeaking type sound and its constant - like chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp in 1 second intervals. It is not a distressful type sound (though i know birds can display distress in strange ways), but certainly something different.

 

I first noticed it the other night just as it was getting dark, she was doing it just before i covered the cage and a bit after i covered. It stopped soon after.

 

Now she is doing it almost all day, but she is still behaving normal. She makes the sound when she is doing all her usual activities and she certainly looks and acts healthy.

 

Has anyone ever experienced this?

 

Sorry I can not explain the sound better!

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She could be a croaker. Its a deep sound that seems to come from the chest and often involves a head bob....

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Hmm no thats not it. Its fairly high pitched and there's no head bob or mouth movement. The only indication is a slight lift of the tail at each sound. All this whilst she's chewing branches and grooming the others.

It sounds like a fuzzy chirp.. I've had her for about 1.5 years now and she's just started doing this 2 days ago so its very strange!

Edited by MariaL

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If its unusual than it's probably worth getting her checked by a vet. unusual behaviour is normally the first sign of illness.

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hmmm interesting.... please let us know what happens!

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If it's that frequent and constant, could it be to do with her breathing?

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Could you use your instant messenger with a webcam?

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I am assuming she is indoors. Have there been any environmental changes in the room she is in, or has her cage been moved? Think back to what was happening in her immediate environment when the noise first began. Does she ever get picked on by the other birds? If you haven't already, check her over for any injuries. Since she is in a flock, she will try to mask any illness or injury as best she can so you will need to be very observant. If there is nothing you can recall, then a ring to the vet is in order.

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Nothing has changed at all. The other birds love her, they only ever preen and feed her. There has never been any issues of egg laying or any mating going on.

 

Last night she was even louder and made the noise for about 20 minutes after all lights were out and cage was covered. It seems to get louder when I approach the cage or do something near the cage.

 

My dilemma is that there are no avian vets within 1.5 hours from here. There are some local vets which have "experience" seeing wild birds but its a bit different when you're diagnosing a broken wing compared with trying to find out whats wrong with a budgie with no apparent symptoms. I dont even know if they could do fecal samples. I'll call them shortly.

 

So what do you do.. risk going to a vet who might be able to do nothing or make things worse, or wait and see what happens..

 

She is making the noise now though she is moving about as normal.

 

I've recorded the sound on my phone, now just need to work out how to convert it to mp3

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My goodness.. she sounds like a rocking chair!

 

I have no idea... it really could be harmless (my mum has a croaker, but his croaks are a bit deeper than this) but you can't be certain without getting it checked somehow. I still think it's a bit strange and suspicious.

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I would be taking her to the vet and check for respiratory issues. That sound can also be associated with a lack of iodine.

iodine deficiency

Edited by KAZ

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Hmm okay thanks for the suggestion, I will mention that.

We are booked in for this evening, unfortunately it will be night time so i hope that doesnt stress her more.

 

They have the iodine perches and she does nibble on it. Dont know if they do much though?

 

Either way, seems to be getting more constant as she has been making the noise for much of today. Still eating and pooping fine.

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She sounds to be in distress to me. If she has been doing this for days I would call the local vet, describe what is happening and ask whether they would see her or whether they think she needs an avian vet and see what they say. If they recommend an avian vet, ask them who they recommend. The local vets even though they may not treat birds will know who would as I'm sure would refer their clients that also have birds to the best place for their treatment if necessary. Let us know what happens.

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I found a bird vet about an hour away. Going there tonight.. had not previously heard of this one. He is at Erina Heights Vet on the NSW Central Coast if anyone is familiar?

 

It certainly seems like a voluntary sound as she turns it on and off. If it were a breathing thing you'd think it would be non stop. And it gets louder when I come near the cage. For some reason she is stressing when previously she didnt care if I was nearby. These aren't hand tame birds (obviously) but usually don't mind my presence - I certainly haven't done anything to scare her! :D

 

I wonder what sort of tests he will have to do to find out the problem.

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It could still be a breathing thing -- unless she's extraordinarily tame she probably does breathe more when people approach her.

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I've never heard a sound like that myself, but I'm suspicious it's to do with her respiratory system, maybe something increasing the resistance in her windpipe/airways. This could be due to thickening, secretions or even a foreign body (such as a seed husk) for example. It may be due to pressure from a different part of the body, such as the crop pushing on it or like Kaz suggested the thyroids (iodine deficiency). With the part how it gets worse you are around: whenever she has to breathe faster/harder, such as stress or excitement, the air has to move faster through the area with resistance and it makes a louder noise.

 

Good luck at the vet's, please let us know how it goes.

Edited by Chrysocome

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Well i found out this guy isn't an avian vet after all, but he does regularly see birds. However he can not perform the tests that true avian vets can.

He found a sore on her foot (bumblefoot) which he treated and i now have to give her antibiotics - which i am not thrilled about as handling really stresses her.

 

He also found some small lumps in her chest area.

 

Above all, he thinks she is quite old - at least 8 years old he said. I had no idea how old she is as I rescued her about a year ago.

 

So it could all be due to old age, she may have some small tumors or it may be something else.

 

I think I will be taking her to Rob Marshall on Friday, thats the only time i can go. Hopefully she will be okay until then.

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Just had a read about bumblefoot and it seems its more common in birds that have inappropriate perches.

My budgies have 100% natural eucalyptus branches that are regularly changed so I'm disappointed that she's developed this condition B)

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It is a pity to go to a vet that isnt up to the full task of treating a bird due to lack of qualifications and knowledge. Hope you get answers soon :)

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Did you find out what was wrong?

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Well lesson learned: don't take your bird to vets who aren't avian vets...

 

She isn't old at all.

 

The tests revealed a staph (?) infection. Antibiotics should clear it

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Ah. Do keep us posted on the recovery.

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